Soft Law Essay

1720 words - 7 pages

Soft Law and Ombudsman
Not all ombudsmen might know that they use the Soft Law toolbox. This paper aims to show how they do it and that the fluid system of the bottom-up building of norms is appreciated both by public and administration.

What is Soft Law?
The difference between “normal” laws and Soft Law is that the latter is not a product of a legislative body: Soft Law is a bottom up developed standard that through different processes becomes a legal standard, often a result of a negotiation process. The concept “Soft law” originated in international public law and it is nowadays found in many other fields of law. It appeared during treaty negotiations, when negotiating parties (states and NGOs) were looking for the most flexible option that would let them avoid immediate and uncompromising commitment to rules that may desirable today but may not be desirable tomorrow. In the not-yet-binding “Soft-Law-phase” contracting parties work on a basis of good faith, building a common view on future law/standards. It gives a free testing ground, i.e. room to test aspirational goals, it can enable coordinated compliance and it makes it possible to deepen cooperation and exchange before surrendering to some measure of control over legal rules. Typical for Soft Law is the transfer of rules applicable in one field of knowledge to other areas and the so called hardening process: the gradually bigger influence of a not (yet) binding norm because it is quoted more and more and starts to have direct influence on the practice of parties. It gives time to develop an Opinio Iuris; commonly accepted interpretation of treaties . Soft Laws are often referred to as: WHAT: Statements, Conclusions, Principles; HOW: Codes of Conduct (= CoC), Codes of practice, Guidelines, Instructions; WHAT & HOW: Policy objectives, Action plans (Agenda 21), Action programs.

The Dutch Ombudsmen: finding his own set of norms
The ninth chapter of the Dutch General Administrative Law Act (GALA) is about complaint handling (by the administration). Local, regional, provincial and national ombudsmen all work on basis of this law. Article 9:36-2 of GALA states: “If it is the verdict of the Ombudsman that the conduct was improper, he shall state in his report what standard of conduct was violated.”. The legislator refused to predetermine a Code of Proper Conduct: it was for the Ombudsmen to build a set of norms. Analysing the set of Ombudsmen norms developed since 1976 there appears an amazing affiliation with norms in other fields of law. The hypothesis is that this is because all these norms derive from the same source. In short the differences can be explained through the development along different lines: The level of ambition The Ombudsman aims to enhance proper behaviour; that is a considerably higher standard than the written law (which normally limits itself to prescribing the minimum level standards). Terra incognita: The Ombudsman has to give verdicts where no judge...

Find Another Essay On soft law

Globalization, Nongovernmental Essay

1314 words - 5 pages inspectorates.NGO "Regulation" and Soft LawGiven this diagnosis of the state's regulatory failures, law and society scholars-together with a growing number of theorists of the state, economic and organizational sociologists, legal theorists, and public policy analysts-have explored emerging nongovernmental systems of regulation, sometimes called "soft law." Examples would be voluntary corporate codes of conduct for labor and the environment and new

Dichotomy between international law and domestic law

977 words - 4 pages is not are the victors of world war reflects the importance of power (Mattei, 2011). Despite the soft nature of international law, the question is the reason of states obeying the international law. Perhaps, states would like to maintain good relations with international institutions and other states or fear of punishment such as economic sanctions, discontinuing of aids, in the extreme case use of force or humanitarian intervention. In

Campaign Finance Reform

1650 words - 7 pages campaign finance reform are the Tillman Act of 1907, the Taft-Hartley law of 1947, and the Watergate law of 1974 (Williams 4). The Tillman Act of 1907 prohibits corporate money from being used in campaigns. Yet, many corporations donate hundreds of thousands of dollars of soft money to political parties in hopes of gaining favor with a president or senator. For example, many industrial companies donated large amounts of money to the Bush treasury. In

Drug Laws of the Netherlands

1338 words - 5 pages system in the case of soft drugs? This paper examines the attitude of law enforcement in The Netherlands regarding soft drug use and assesses whether or not The Netherlands’s permissive system is a successful one. Soft Drug Decriminalization in The Netherlands Contrary to popular belief, when the Dutch parliament revised the country's drug laws in 1976, it did not actually legalize any narcotic substances. Rather, it separated illegal drugs into two

Use of Force Continuum

825 words - 4 pages law officers, it is also valuable with citizens, such as in criminal court cases by police review boards. Specifically, a graphical illustration of a use of force continuum is useful to a jury when deciding whether an officer's use of force was sensible. While the precise progression of force varies significantly (especially the extensive gap between soft control and deadly force) among different agencies and jurisdictions, there is a common

Legally Blonde

1068 words - 5 pages distract her; this activates a fast and happy orchestra that represents the change of mood. I’m Going to Harvard starts with birds chirping outside and soft, relaxing music playing in the background. As soft music plays in the background, Elle tells her friends that she is going to Harvard Law School. Video Essay and Exam is the start to a new adventure and a fast orchestra plays in the background of her essay to represent the positive


1161 words - 5 pages soft law-precepts emanating from international bodies that conform in some sense to expectations of required behavior but that are not binding on states (the World Bank’s Guidelines on the Treatment of Foreign Direct Investment, for example). Soft law principles also represent a starting point for new hard law, which attaches a penalty to noncompliance. Whether in the case of hard or soft law, new participants are making increased demands for

New Millennia Power Shift: A Look at the Change in US-Russia Relations

1569 words - 7 pages in soft power”.3 Both are needed because military force is no longer accepted as a legitimate way to solve all disputes, nor is it the only way for a nation to assert dominance and gain allies in the international community. If a nation is going to be effective it needs to combine both hard and soft power resources as ‘smart power’ to create effective strategies in the new new millennia.4 Globalization and the fast and furious development of

Discretion In Legal Decision Making

2468 words - 10 pages , drug abuse in private), and at the other extreme, strict law enforcement is considered necessary when the stakes are high (for example, the production and trade in hard drugs). In the absence of a yardstick, the intermediate cases are of course the hardest: what should be the Dutch approach to hard-drug addicts and to the suppliers of soft drugs? In theory, pragmatism tackles these questions, raised by the facts, one by one and by trial and error

Critically evaluate the main principles of legal positivism and natural law

3538 words - 14 pages writings based on the traditional positivism and Hart's modified version, though both have the original form of positivism as their foundations. Hart's "Inclusive" or "Soft" Positivistic approach criticises Austin's arguments on several counts, not all laws impose duties and sanctions. Hart discussed primary rules, which govern standards of behaviour, similar to criminal law but including civil rules similar to the law of tort. Primary rules are

Capacity Planning

2075 words - 9 pages Refinery Limited has a Captive Power Plant with installed with refinery capacity of 10,400 barrels per day. It includes gasoline and diesel. 3. No. of cases handled per week (Law firm e.g. Zafar & Associates) Zafar Associates is a leading Law company which has a capacity of handling 7 cases per week as a normal average of 1 case per day. 4. No. of seats per flight (Airline e.g. PIA) PIA has a Boeing 777 having a typical seating capacity for 451

Similar Essays

Campaign Finance Reform Essay

987 words - 4 pages because there is no limit on the amount of money that can be contributed (Sidlow, 2013, p.213). This is unlike "hard money", which is regulated by federal law. Soft money is sometimes called "nonfederal" contributions because it does not support a candidate for federal office. Labor unions and corporations cannot contribute money to specific candidates but they can give soft money to the party itself. What role does soft money play in politics

Drug Laws Of The Netherlands Essay

1313 words - 5 pages people believe they have been legalized there. Rather, cannabis and its by-products, marijuana and hashish, have merely been decriminalized. This means that the sale and use in moderate amounts of marijuana and hashish is not prosecuted.This begs the question: Is a permissive legal system more effective than a restrictive system in the case of soft drugs? This paper examines the attitude of law enforcement in The Netherlands regarding soft drug

Problems Within Political Campaigns Essay

681 words - 3 pages Problems Within Political Campaigns In political campaigns today there are problems. One of the problems with campaigns today is "soft money." Another problem I believe we should address is, candidates making promises to get elected and then not keeping those promises. One final problem that should be addressed is the way the candidates go about being elected. The first problem with campaigns today deals with campaign

Soft Power: Why The Changing World Needs A 'softer Touch'

2285 words - 10 pages , "credibility is the crucial resource and an important source of soft power. Reputation becomes even more important than in the past, and political struggles occur over the creation and destruction of credibility" (67). With the flood of free information in the information age, credibility becomes a strong determinant in legitimacy. Soft power, or "getting others to want what you want... the ability to entice and attract," needs to be more